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can earn a paycheck for working in the garden. “They take total pride in it,” says Jennifer Moon, Vincent’s special education teacher. “It opens up experiences we would have never had without the money we’re earning from this project.” She says she can see the positive effects this project has had on her students: The juniors and seniors are learning the value of working and making money, Moon says, and her younger students are just excited about gardening and cooking with the fresh herbs. “By gaining these skills, research shows they are more likely to get a job and have a better life outcome,” Moon says, which is her ultimate goal for them. “The earlier we start, the better. It’s all for their future.” One of Moon’s students working with the HOPE project is junior Courtney Walker, who says her favorite part about working in the garden is picking the herbs. Besides gaining gardening skills, she says, “I learned to get a paycheck.” Walker, who wants to work at a hospital after high school, says being responsible for the business makes her happy. “To see the students light up and for them to tell you about the herbs and what it’s used for at Taziki’s is really amazing,” May 2014 | 43

Shelby Living May 2014  
Shelby Living May 2014